the ending still hasn't come together...it feels about as frustrated as i do lately, so i suppose that's saying something.

i am starting a crusade against
black-is-beautiful poems

i am tired of
having to restate the obvious
take brown skin lady breaks at work
to remind myself that
there is a beholder
who deems me

no more
nubian queens & kingmen
...and not just 'cause
we can't all be royalty
but 'cause trayvon can't read
and keisha's pregnant
by mama's new man

that ain't
nowhere near hotep

read me
agricultural poetry
i wanna learn
how to grow food that
won't kill my babies

i wanna write sonnets
on basket weaving and
garment sewing
sing the songs i should have tried
to learn
when mommy sang them to me

'cause if we can ever put down
the xbox long enough and
tune out the false prophets and
corrupted griots and
get brave
start the revolution

(of picking up a book
of raising--not just loving-- our children
of loving ourselves
of fighting our enemies
of redefining our miseducation)

all them pretty words
won't fill our bellies

uncompromising self-love
ain't always profitable
nor does it keep up appearances
when company comes

we got to be ready
we got to be strong
we got to be useful
like the ancestors' art

make beauty
serve us
...slaves to vanity
are so 1984

we are

(c) 2005 l.a.m.


nekhena evans vs. madame cj walker

just when i'm feeling like shit, enter my mother with the job/hair connection.

(every now and then she'll sneak that into conversation)

well you know what? fuck 'em. i'm tired of the lie. our hair isn't straight. get over it. it doesn't always lie down, it doesn't flip whimsically off our shoulders.

and if more of "them" knew what we went thru to make that seem natural, they'd probably deem us insane.

...well, maybe not. considering the popularity of taking botulism shots to the face.

still, if they think shit about me because i refuse to allow their standards to dominate me, fuck 'em.

most folks don't even spend time thinking about this on any conscious level. and they wouldn't really get it if the topic arose. so i really don't think it's that serious.

of course, mom's set in her ways and was raised in a house that didn't allow afros. so if an intelligent, young black woman like myself can't seem to get a job, it must be because my hair isn't bone straight.

forget the current economy, last hired first fired, overqualification for the bullshit that passes as gainful employment these days, the intimidation factor of an intelligent blk female, etc., etc.

but i digress.

the more of us there are, the more they will be forced to accept our true form when it appears. or they will show their true colors and turn up their noses at it. in which case we will just have to make our own way, something we should have made a priority years ago anyway. self-determination.

why should we buy into the bullshit anymore? it's been too long. and you can only lead by example.

all i have is my self-expression. if i lose that, if i give that up, i give up my soul. i won't compromise my soul. it's bad enough i have to fit myself in all these boxes to begin with.

i suppose God'll just have to make a way. i have so little in the way of freedom sometimes...i have to take what i can get. how else am i supposed to stay sane?

no matter how you look at it, it's an element of struggle.

i can accept that.



birthed 2 different days under 2 different circumstances...still trying to figure out a place for them.

poetry calls
at the strangest times

after midnight
with work in the morning

after too much smoke
and not enough love

creeping under doors
repeatedly smudged against
intruders and unpleasantness

for instance,
when all i want
is for the ache in my side
to go away
i find myself
forced to pick up
paper and pens
sketch out thoughts
until watercolors
from white blue and black

i've been trying
to write all weekend
but i mistook
brown skin for metaphor and
warm hands for synonyms

takes me a moment to realize
what all that energy
is for

searching for inspiration in
mere acquaintances
is never enough
a muse
must love you exclusively
my lovers
are far too conflicted

i'm considering
breaking myself down
to have something to do
a project
a worthy hobby

building a black girl
inch by inch
a reality show
few would watch

...shutting us down is the main attraction.

halting steps taken
in the
lost-found rhythm
of a groove i last heard
when someone mistook me
for a 1/2 white girl

my heart bleeds black
roots of hair
reddened by
nevershouldhavebeen nights
nights my memory
forces into herbal hazes

i am an addict
with no drug

with no homeland

out of place

a lit cigarette
becomes a microcosm
of the earth's core
in my hands
i am nothing more
than a lost note or two
wafting in the breeze

my presence makes for
pleasant nostalgia
but my place in the present
is more than uncertain.

(c) 2009 l.a.m.